In the music industry, names are an important way of managing expectations. Victoria's Meatdraw may sound like a metal band, but they are not. Their website describes them as a "carnival exorcism dance band," which isn't a bad label for their brand of energetic, folksy music. The six-piece's second album, Fin Du Monophone, is a solid gateway into their work.
Right away, Fin Du Monophone grabs your attention and frames the album with the frenetic and fun "Are We Gonna Die?" The first handful of songs are driving folk music liberally interjected with doses of horns as the band contemplates the end of the world. It's a strange balance to strike, juxtaposing a post-apocalyptic lyrical landscape with intricate and cheerful instrumentation, but Meatdraw strikes it perfectly -- for most of the album, at least.
The flaws in Fin Du Monophone emerge, in part, from the group being too ambitious. The album carries the concept through 75 per cent of the time, balancing a mixture of fast and slow songs to keep the pace going. However, it seems like they're so worried about everyone having a good time that they don't let the slower songs be anything more than slowed- down versions of the fast ones.
Nevertheless, Fin Du Monophone is an infectious collection of music. Some bands defy labels, but carnival exorcism dance band fits Meatdraw like a glove.